Monday, November 07, 2011

Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel by Richelle Mead, Leigh Dragoon and Emma Vieceli

Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, the half-vampire guardian of the Moroi Vampires. Ever since she was young, she has been bound to her friend, the Moroi vampire Lissa Dragomir, the last of her line. The bond they share is greater than any other Moroi and her Dhampir, because Rose can see through Lissa's eyes, and she also can feel what Lissa is feeling. But they are currently on the run from their people, because Lissa's life was at risk, and no one but Rose believed her.

Being on the run has made Rose do things that her sort of Dhampir shouldn't have to do- like feed Lissa on her blood. There are two kinds of Dhampir- Guardians, like Rose aspires to be, and breeders, who make more Dhampir by mating with other Moroi and who share their blood. But since there is no one in the human world that Lissa can properly feed on, Rose willingly shares her blood with her friend.

But soon, Rose and Lissa are found by the Moroi and dragged back to the school they fled two years before: St. Vladimir's Academy. Hoping that the threat they fled from is gone, Lissa and Rose slowly blend back in to the mass of Moroi and Dhampirs at the Academy. It isn't easy, though. Those who once knew them shun them, and while the Dhampirs are rather impressed that Rose has managed to keep Lissa alive all by herself, they aren't going to go easy on Rose- she endangered Lissa's life by removing her from school, and now she is going to have to work extra hard to make up on the training she missed.

But there are compensations for being back at School. Lissa meets a boy named Christian Ozera, who seems to like her and not shun her. And Rose is being tutored by Dmitri Belkov, a hunky Russian Dhampir Guardian who may not be as blind to Rose's feelings as he pretends to be. But when Lissa's life is once again put in danger, can Rose protect her friend by staying around instead of running off with her once more? And what is Rose and Lissa's connection to St. Vladimir and his Dhampir Guardian, Anna?

I have already read this series as a book, but it was interesting to see it turned into a graphic novel. Some incidents have been cut out, and the book as a whole shortened, but the story still carried through fine and clear. It's just that in this one, we get to see what the characters look like, and it's clear when a character stops being Moroi and turns Strigoi.

Although you lose a bit of the closeness of being able to read about the characters feelings without being distracted by the pictures, I think this was a successful adaptation of the original novel, even if it wasn't done by Mead itself. The art was nice, if a bit sparse, but the story itself was dense. Despite being more like a comic book, it still read like a book and took more than a considerable while to get through.

As a graphic novel adaptation lover, I admit it's always better to read the original book than a graphic adaptation because so many things are left out- especially when you consider the size of the book in comparison to the novel. It's well done, and I would definitely recommend it- but I'd recommend the book even more!

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